Mental health and wellness serve as the foundation for every other component of our well-being, including the body, soul, and mind. It has a substantial effect on our emotions, thought processes, and daily behavior patterns. You can read about eight-steps to improve your mental health at This Link, and we’ll be discussing more tips in this article, so please read on.
The original vacation plan for Summer 2020 called for me to fly from New York City to Barcelona on June 4th. There, I would meet up with my Los Angeles-based sister, and we’d spend two days site-seeing and recovering from jet lag before departing on an adventure-packed, seven-day cruise through the western Mediterranean. Sigh, I fucking love to cruise.
Obviously, those plans changed. In May, our sailing was predictably canceled by the cruise line due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While I was relieved to receive a full-refund on my paid fare — and overjoyed with the bonus of nearly $1,000 in onboard credit for a 2021 rebooking — I was also super bummed to know that I would likely not be getting out of Manhattan this summer. First world problems: they are a thing.
It cannot be overstated then that my summer was miraculously saved by friends who own a home the Berkshires, where they’d been quarantining since March. They generously offered to host me for a week of doing basically what I do in Manhattan — eating and going for walks — but with way better food and immeasurably more awe-inspiring scenery, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) air that smells like honey, and the absence of blaring sirens. It was the best week I’ve had in three months. Please enjoy a selection of photos from my many nature walks taken during the vacation that restored my sanity.
My friends live in a private community accessed from a narrow road set about a mile off of a rural thoroughfare. On summer evenings (during any normal year), you can sometimes hear faint music drifting over from Tanglewood, where I saw a fantastic concert by Squeeze with these same friends last August. Sadly, Tanglewood’s 2020 season has been canceled.
Instead, the soundtrack includes choruses of bullfrogs hiding among the marsh reeds, and a rush of wind through the endless trees that can make you look over your shoulder to confirm that no cars are coming.
This marsh and pond are just across the road from a private beach. There, you can take colorful kayaks out onto a lake, which is called the Stockbridge Bowl.
I could gaze at at this view for hours.
Continue Enjoying the Scenery, After the Jump!
In the Covid Life, I’m fortunate to be able to work from home, be in good health, have enough food, cable TV, and everything needed to make the lock-down more comfortable. I really can’t complain. I can get by for a few months without going shopping, eating in my favorite restaurant, or seeing a movie in the theater. The one thing I do get a bit wistful about is not being able to fully enjoy the beauty of Spring.
In an email I received from them this morning, the Museum of Modern Art was quick to remind me that, “Five hundred tulips are blooming in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden right now, and no one is there to enjoy them.” Thanks for the reminder! Spring, the season of renewal, is happening all around us while we are being advised to stay inside. It kills me. In a normal year, I would have at the very least attended Sakura Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden — which is such a terrific way to usher in the season. Even the NYBG’s Orchid Show closed prematurely. Beauty is still out there, so I preserve it on my walks. If you’re struggling with Cabin Fever, please enjoy a little bit of spring in this week’s edition of my East Village Life.
Tompkins Square Park is the closest park to my home; being located between Avenues A and B, and between East 7th and East 9th Streets. There have been a few outstanding flowering cherry trees there this spring. Check them out!
As much as I wish we could have trees that look like this year-round, they surely would not be appreciated if their beauty was not so ephemeral.
Here’s a closer look at that same tree. When I checked the Instagram accounts of my neighbors on this particular afternoon, everyone was posting their own photos of . . . that same tree. It was just too perfect.
Different tree, same park.
These were across the street from my apartment, on 14th Street outside Stuyvesant Town. I love the side-by-side contrast of the trees against the blue sky, and then the red brick building.
I took this photo very late in the afternoon, which is apparent by the light, or lack thereof. This tree enjoys its life inside one of the East Village’s community gardens that add so much value to this neighborhood.
When I posted this photo on Instagram it got twice the usual number of likes. I think that has something to do with the visual appeal of the white flowering tree next to the white building. This is First Avenue just south of 14th Street.
A cool thing about Cherry Blossoms is that you don’t have to get the entire tree to capture a great photo; in fact, a small cluster of flowers, or even a single bloom, can convey so much more about the beauty of spring. This photo was taken on the High Line in early March, one week before lock-down.
Also, the pink color is like a magnet, attracting me to the tree.
Post Continues, With More Photos and Stories, After The Jump! Continue reading East Village Life: Photos of Flowers From My Neighborhood Walks
Hello and welcome to week two of my ass-kicking East Village Life. In this week’s edition, we will walk through a virtual gallery of assorted street art and public art pieces that I’ve passed by on my weather-permitting daily walks in and around my neighborhood. Enjoy!
Hektad is a name that you’re going see a few times in this post, as his optimism-infused artworks are all over the East Village, especially in the First Street Green Art Park, located on First Street at First Avenue. Since this photo was taken, I believe the park has temporarily closed due to the Covid as it was attracting crowds. And we can’t have that.
Here are a couple of additional Hektad pieces on 11th Street just East of First Avenue. These are side by side, adjacent to this monumental piece by Kobra.
It does not get much more NYC than this mural of King Kong by French graffiti artist Moi One (@moi.one). Find it next to David’s Cafe on St. Mark’s Place near Tompkin’s Square Park.
This colorful tile mosaic by Jim Power, known locally as the Mosaic Man, marks the intersection of Avenue A and St Mark’s Place. Jim composes all of his intricate pieces from up-cycled china, glass, pottery and found objects to create unique, site specific works of art. His mosaics are all over the neighborhood.
More Art, After The Jump!
When the only outdoor activity that’s still permitted is taking a walk, it’s important to give your walks a purpose. As the Covid Life hit us back in mid-March, I started collecting what you might call ‘mundane’ pictures on my iPhone camera roll during my afternoon jaunts; documenting things I see in the East Village in order to share the stories these photos tell about the people who live in my awesome neighborhood. For as long as this shit lasts, I’ll be publishing a thematic weekly series of photo-blog posts featuring snapshots from my East Village Life, so that we all might feel more connected. This week’s theme is Storefronts. Enjoy!
Clash City Tattoo located at 273 E 10th Street, takes its name from the song “Clash City Rocker” which you can find on the 1977 debut album by, you guessed it, The Clash.
This is the Pyramid Club, a nightclub on Avenue A that’s been open since 1979 — wow! Nirvana once played there before they got to be a big deal, and I interviewed a few rockers inside its walls back in my rock critic days. They still host weekly ’80s New Wave dance parties and shit like that. I believe Pyramid Club will survive the Covid crisis.
The handwritten sign posted out front of Psychic Readings By Honeybee, which is also on Avenue A near 14th Street, indicates that, despite their storefront being closed for business, they are still conducting “Readings Over The Phone.” One wonders why their advance psychic knowledge of the upcoming shutdown did not provided ample time to have a more professional sign prepared.
Adventure Continues After the Jump!